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7:50 PM ET, December 23, 2011


 Top Items: 
The New Republic:
TNR Exclusive: A Collection of Ron Paul's Most Incendiary Newsletters  —  For years, Ron Paul published a series of newsletters that dispensed political news and investment advice, but also routinely indulged in bigotry.  Here's a selection of some especially inflammatory passages …
Timothy Egan / Opinionator:   Soldiers' Choice  —  So this is Christmas, season of peace …
David Weigel / Slate:
The Newsweek Curse  —  This isn't the problem that's kept …
Molly K. Hooper / The Hill:
GOP lawmakers frustrated with Boehner-Cantor soap opera  —  Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) are being prodded by their House GOP colleagues to work through their battle-scarred relationship.  —  Republican lawmakers said they are frustrated …
Discussion: CNN
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
The Suicidal House Republicans
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
The GOP's payroll tax debacle
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
House approves payroll tax bill, sends to Obama for signature
Discussion: Outside the Beltway and Hot Air
Sara Sorcher / The Atlantic Wire:
Obama Blames Hawaii for his ‘Deep Down’ Laziness  —  The personality trait President Obama says he most deplores in himself and others is not exactly one you'd expect from, presumably, one of the busiest people in the world: laziness.  —  “You're lazy?”  Barbara Walters incredulously asked Obama …
Holly Bailey / Yahoo! News:
Congressman apologizes for criticizing Michelle Obama's ‘large posterior’  —  A Republican congressman from Wisconsin has offered a personal apology to First Lady Michelle Obama after he was overheard at an airport lounge criticizing her “large posterior.”  —  Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner …
Kevinliptak / CNN:
TRENDING: Trump dumps GOP  —  (CNN) - Donald Trump continued to tease a potential presidential run by changing his voter registration Thursday from Republican to “unaffiliated” and publicly denouncing the behavior of members of his former party.  —  Michael Cohen, an aide to Trump …
Discussion: Iowa Caucuses
Donald Trump Bolts Republican Party, Eyeing Other 2012 Options  —  ABC News' Michael Falcone reports:  —  Donald Trump is officially a man without a party.  —  The real estate mogul whose flirtation with the 2012 presidential race has never really ended despite announcing seven months ago …
Rachel Leven / Ballot Box:
Trump registers as an Independent, keeping door open to White House run
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Jerry Markon / Washington Post:
Justice Dept. rejects South Carolina voter ID law, calling it discriminatory  —  REUTERS/Benjamin Myers (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW)  —  The Justice Department on Friday entered the divisive national debate over new state voting laws, rejecting South Carolina's measure requiring …
Cameron Joseph / Ballot Box:
Justice Department blocks South Carolina's voter identification law
Discussion: The Politico
Justin Sink / The Hill:
New York Times sues Justice Department over targeted-killing memo
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Media continues letting Romney claims skate by unchecked  —  Steve Benen flags a Mitt Romney interview with Mark Halperin, in which Romney pushed back on criticism of his Bain years by claiming that Obama didn't create “any new jobs.”  Romney said: … Halperin didn't bother challenging Romney on this claim.
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
The Post-Truth Campaign  —  Suppose that President Obama were to say the following: “Mitt Romney believes that corporations are people, and he believes that only corporations and the wealthy should have any rights.  He wants to reduce middle-class Americans to serfs, forced …
Zack Ford / ThinkProgress:
Bob Vander Plaats' Pay-For-Play Scandal: Charged A Million Bucks For Endorsement, Asked Candidates To Drop Out  —  Bob Vander Plaats' endorsement of Rick Santorum has produced a backlash among conservatives in Iowa, some of whom are accusing the FAMiLY LEADER president of engaging in …
Alexander Burns / The Politico:
Santorum's pop-up Iowa pitch
Solange Uwimana / Media Matters for America:
Fox Celebrates Holidays With Outrageous Race-Based Attack On Obama  —  Fox News' animosity toward President Obama, three years into his presidency, is by now well-known.  This is the network that routinely calls Obama a socialist, accuses him of being involved in all sorts of conspiratorial plots, and claims that he hates America.
Joe Biden / Des Moines Register:
Vice President: This is what a real opportunity society looks like  —  M itt Romney recently laid out his plan for America.  Reading about it, I thought of my dad.  My dad was a hard worker.  He took pride in what he did.  And, like millions of Americans, that pride was put to the test …
Steve Tetreault / Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Poll: Berkley holds slim lead over Heller for Senate seat  —  WASHINGTON — For many people, the dawn of a new year can mean a fresh start, a clean slate.  For the politicians running to represent Nevada in the U.S. Senate, the view close to the new year is a nearly level battlefield judging from the latest measure of public sentiment.
John Wildermuth / San Francisco Chronicle:
Gay-friendly clergy disinvited from Castro church  —  Most Holy Redeemer Church, a Catholic parish in the middle of the Castro, is in trouble again with church leaders over how best to minister to its heavily gay and lesbian congregation.  —  In the latest incident, Archbishop George Niederauer …
Discussion: ThinkProgress and ABCNEWS
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 More Items: 
Michael Walsh / National Review:
Re: The Payroll Tax Mess
Discussion: Political Mojo
Alex Isenstadt / The Politico:
New Jersey remap a lump of coal for Democrats
Stephanie Clifford / New York Times:
Retailers Are Slashing Prices Ahead of Holiday
Discussion: Gothamist and Money & Company
 Earlier Items: 
Alex Pappas / The Daily Caller:
What's next for Herman Cain
Discussion: FishbowlDC and
Joel B. Pollak / Big Government:
Top Ten Democrats Who Would Be Better Presidential Candidates Than Barack Obama in 2012
Discussion: Don Surber and
Mary Orndorff / Sweet Home Potomac:
U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus may face challenge from state Sen. Scott Beason
Discussion: Ballot Box
Richard Wolf / USA Today:
Voters leaving Republican, Democratic parties in droves
Frank Mugisha / New York Times:
Gay and Vilified in Uganda